Is American education in crisis?
Todd Oppenheimer argues that, at a cost of more that $70 billion, students and schools have become victims of the false promise of the miracle of computers and the Internet. The unrelenting onslaught of computers and the Internet in schools is exacting a terrible price beyond just shortfalls in school budgets – the further deterioration of children’s ability to reason and imagine. As the author demonstrates, every time a science class is computerized or a music program is shut down to pay for new hardware, the fundamentals of learning are sadly lost. Moreover, the book reveals how schools have become fertile ground for technology companies to inflate their costs and institute corrupt payment schemes, involving such giant companies as NEC, Verizon, and IBM.
Oppenheimer does not discount the value of computers in the classroom, but rather he advocates a more intelligent and effectual use of them. For example, where computers might have a negative effect on younger children, older students certainly benefit from learning how to use fundamental software that will help them in the workforce. Or, computers can be put to a practical use by showing students how they are actually made and how they work – by taking them apart in technical classes that will unlock the mysteries of these miracles of technologies, students benefit with some real hands on experience.